10022 - Ilmenite basalt
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.

Fact sheet

10022 - Ilmenite basalt

10022 is a fine-grained, vesicular, ilmenite rich basalt with relatively high potassium content. It was collected close to where the lunar module touched down on the surface of the Moon. It crystallised 3.6 billion years ago and has been exposed at the surface for around 500 million years.

The most notable feature of the thin section and the hand specimen, are the near spherical holes which formed during eruption while the magma erupted as a liquid, and remained in the rock after it cooled. They give an indication of the high concentrations of gas that were dissolved in the liquid magma and exsolved into bubbles during the eruption. Plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene (both augite and pigeonite) are the major silicate minerals in this rock. They are accompanied by the black (opaque) oxide mineral, ilmenite which unusually displays two habits - both tabular and platy.

Armalcolite is a rare Mg-Fe-Ti oxide mineral first discovered in this and a few other Apollo 11 rocks. The mineral was unknown at the time on Earth and the name was derived from the three astronauts who manned Apollo 11. A 1970 publication reporting its discovery can be downloaded here: http://rruff.info/uploads/PA11LSC1_55.pdf

Further details of 10022 and other Apollo samples are here: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/

About this collection

The Apollo 11 samples create an iconic collection since they were the first rocks collected by humankind that were returned to Earth from another solar system body. The Apollo 11 team collected and returned 22 kg of rock and soil samples.

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on 16 July 1969. An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" on 20 July 1969.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 11
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
metallic iron
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: